BRUSSELS: Consumer confidence levels continue to decline in the European Union, reflecting the financial problems being felt by much of the region.

According to the European Commission, sentiment in the 27 countries within the European Union stood at –23.9 points in September, down from –22.7 points in August.

For the 17 nations in the eurozone, this total reached –25.9 points in September. This was a decrease from –24.6 points in August, and was the worst figure on record since May 2009.

A prior estimate from Bloomberg based on the projections of 32 economists and analysts had predicted this reading would improve slightly to –24 points.

"The euro region's fundamentals remain weak," Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank, told Bloomberg. "Activity is impacted by austerity measures, deleveraging and fragile confidence."

Having seen GDP slide by 0.2% during the second quarter of this year compared with the first, the eurozone is expected to see an economic contraction of around 0.3% for 2012 as a whole.

Data sourced from Bloomberg/Reuters; additional content by Warc staff